- 美學 (ISSN:05200962)
- vol.63, no.1, pp.37-48, 2012-06-30
In the last section of Saint Genet (1952), Jean-Paul Sartre attempts to vindicate Jean Genet's immoral works. Sartre tries to save Genet from severe moral criticism in French literary world at the time. In this paper, I will organize Sartre's argument and examine his complex defense. According to Sartre, the immorality of Genet's works consists in the veriter's devious intention to invert our values and the bad influence he has on his readers. On the other hand, Sartre claims that Genet's works have some moral merits: to give readers some understanding of what Sartre calls 'solitary' positions such as Genet's, and to impress upon readers an identical possibility for themselves. Moreover, these moral merits are supported by the aesthetic appreciation of his works. The fact that readers could fully appreciate Genet's immoral works irresistibly points out to the readers the relation between themselves and the immorality of the works. It is not, however, clear how these moral merits are able to overcome the criticism against Genet. Moreover, because Sartre's argument presupposes an appreciation that deviates from Genet's own intention, which Sartre himself recognizes, it is not clear whether or not Sartre's attempted vindication can be viewed as a legitimate evaluation of Genet's works.